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Manufacturers are shutting factories and slashing jobs in an effort to stop the hemorrhaging from the global economic recession. A recession “always hits manufacturing first and hardest,” said Hank Cox, spokesman for the 10,000 member National Association of Manufacturers. “We’re going into a valley” that looks like it’s going to be “long and deep.”

Economic experts compare this recession to the 2000-2003 slowdown during which manufacturing lost 3 million jobs and never really got them back. Greater initial job loss is expected this time around, but there is hope that as the economy improves a greater number of jobs will be reinstated and that the net job loss will be less than in 2003. Until things turn around, though, everyone will have to work a little harder to pick up the slack.

Increasing the efficiency of your workforce can help business owners trim operating costs. Implementing personnel programs to decrease absenteeism has shown good results but doesn’t address the root cause of the problem. Poor working conditions that place unnatural strain on workers’ bodies take both a physical and mental toll on your workforce. Implementing an ergonomic program in your workplace can not only boost employee morale but eliminate costly musculoskeletal injuries and their associated costs.

Ergonomically-designed powered carts and movers relieve workers of the physical strain and discomfort caused by manual performance of pushing, pulling and lifting tasks. Making an investment in your employees’ health and safety improves morale. And where morale is high, worker efficiency has been proven to increase. But these are the indirect benefits of implementing an ergonomics program in your workplace. Direct benefits include an immediate and permanent decrease in expensive musculoskeletal injuries — particularly back injuries — and the high medical, insurance, disability and workers’ compensation costs they entail.

Workplace injury and illness cost U.S. businesses $171 billion a year. Approximately 13.2 million workers every year are injured in the workplace, resulting in $60 billion in workers’ compensation claims annually. According to OSHA estimates, back injuries account for 1 in 5 disabling injuries. Back injuries alone cost American businesses more than $12 million in lost workdays and $1 billion in compensation costs each year. The lost workday cost of a single back injury is estimated at $26,000.

Implementing an ergonomic program in your workplace can dramatically and immediately impact worker efficiency and your bottom line. Most businesses recoup their investment in ergonomic equipment within the first year. For more information on how ergonomic carts and movers can improve efficiency in your workplace, contact the knowledgeable experts at DJ Products today.

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